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24/7 Real Media to debut Rich Media Foundry

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Rich media technology, a red-hot area in online marketing, is changing at a furious pace.

With the rapid increase in Internet bandwidth, rich media—which includes such things as banner ads featuring video and interactive tools embedded in an advertisement—is expected to explode in the next few years.

“It’s something that all Web sites need to gravitate toward in order to allow their advertisers to have a bigger impact with their message and to create a better user experience,” said Jon Schaaf, media director for b-to-b ad agency HSR Business to Business.

Schaaf pointed to a few players that are already providing publishers with online services designed to streamline rich media advertising. These include Atlas DMT, Eyeblaster and DoubleClick’s DART.

Now, digital marketing company 24/7 Real Media is tossing its hat into the rich-media ring. Last week, the company announced plans for Rich Media Foundry, a technology designed to simplify the process of creating and trafficking rich media advertising in any format.

The technology, which will be rolled out next month, will be integrated with 24/7 Real Media’s Open AdStream 6. Currently, about 70% of the display advertising campaigns on the company’s U.S.-based Web Alliance Network are rich media, said Tom Swenson, product manager for Rich Media Foundry.

24/7 Real Media is evaluating its list of customers to see which would be best for a beta test of the service. Its publishing clients include the Discovery Channel, Dow Jones’ MarketWatch, Forbes.com and USA Today.

The service “will reduce some of the friction that goes on with the trafficking of rich media and free up publishers’ time from manual tasks so they can focus on strategies like campaign optimization and ROI,” Swenson said.

The technology is designed to be media agnostic, with the ability to support any rich media format, such as video, audio, mobile and DTV.

A key driver of the service: code templates that allow publishers to contact 24/7 Media when they want to integrate a new type of advertising format. “Publishers need peace of mind so when they get a new code from their advertisers they can make sure the ad service is compatible [with Open AdStream 6],” Swenson said. He stressed that the service allows publishers to modify their ads on the fly.

An Ad Wizard feature enables publishers and advertisers to create customizable banners, pop-up ads and layer ads. Preroll video is also supported, including coordination with in-page ad units.

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